SERIES HISTORY: 7th regular-season meeting. Redskins lead series, 5-1. Washington won the last meeting 41-10 on Sept. 14, 2014. It is only their fourth games at Jacksonville in 24 seasons and the Redskins hold a 2-1 edge along with a 3-0 margin at home.
KEYS TO THE GAME: It is a tale of two teams enduring bitterly disappointing seasons. The Jaguars tanked early and never recovered. The Redskins were riding high at 6-3 but have lost four straight. A win would keep their playoff hopes alive, but they are on their fourth quarterback and Josh Johnson barely knows his teammates let alone the playbook.
Johnson's ability to escape will help with the offensive line in shambles. Even the healthy players like Morgan Moses and Trent Williams aren't at full strength and Washington is using emergency options at guard. Getting Chris Thompson into the mix will help. He hasn't yet looked himself since returning from rib injuries and his big-play ability could help make life easier on Johnson. Same goes for Adrian Peterson. The Redskins can't become one-dimensional.
The Jaguars have a dangerous running back in Leonard Fournette, but Cody Kessler was sacked four times last week by the Tennessee Titans in a loss. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith need to force him into bad decisions. Safety D.J. Swearinger has had a strong year for Washington, but the young cornerbacks besides Josh Norman have struggled since Quinton Dunbar went out with a nerve injury in his leg and landed on injured reserve. The Redskins realistically need to hold Jacksonville under 20 points to have a chance to win given its quarterback situation and injuries on offense.
FRIDAY INJURY REPORT (K Kai Forbath was signed Friday because of Josh Lambo’s groin injury)
--OUT: LB Ryan Anderson (hamstring), G Tony Bergstrom (ankle, knee), QB Colt McCoy (fibula), TE Jordan Reed (ankle, foot)
--QUESTIONABLE: WR Josh Doctson (concussion), DE Matt Ioannidis (shin), T Morgan Moses (ankle), S Montae Nicholson (illness), T Ty Nsekhe (knee), LS Nick Sundberg (back), RB Chris Thompson (illness)
--OUT: WR DJ Chark (quadrcieps), T Jermey Parnell (knee), G Josh Walker (ankle)
--QUESTIONABLE: K Josh Lambo (right groin), DE Lerentee McCray (illness)
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--Jaguars DE Calais Campbell vs. Redskins LT Trent Williams. Campbell is a beast at 6-foot-8, 300 pounds and has seven sacks. Williams has struggled with knee and hand injuries all year and is not at full strength, but the six-time Pro Bowler can still hang with any pass rusher.
--Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette vs. Redskins front seven or eight. The Jaguars still want to be a running team, but Fournette hasn't been a big factor since returning from his ankle injury. Fournette hasn't found much running room, forcing the Jaguars into third-and-longs. He needs to find a way to run against the Redskins 3-4 that will be selling out to stop him.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Redskins WR Jamison Crowder. With Jordan Reed possibly missing the game with foot/toe injuries, the Redskins need as many weapons in the passing game as they can get. Josh Doctson might not play either. Crowder had a 79-yard catch-and-run Sunday for a touchdown against the Giants. The slot receiver missed seven games with an ankle injury, but he does have 19 catches in six games and averages 13.5 yards per catch, a career best.
FAST FACTS: REDSKINS QB JOSH JOHNSON completed 11 of 16 (68.8 pct.) for 195 yards with 1 TD vs. 1 INT for 104.9 rating & had 45 rush yards & rush TD last week. ... RB ADRIAN PETERSON has 3 rush TDs in his past 4. Has 13,148 career rush yards & needs 112 to surpass HOFer ERIC DICKERSON (13,259) for 8th-most all-time. ... RB CHRIS THOMPSON has 10 TD catches since 2014, tied for 5th-most among NFL RBs. ... WR JAMISON CROWDER had 87 rec. yards, incl. career-long 79-yard TD catch last week. ... WR JOSH DOCTSON had 4 catches for 84 yards in Week 14. ... LB RYAN KERRIGAN had sack in Week 14. In his past 8, has 8 sacks, 2 FFs & FR. ... LB MASON FOSTER had 6 tackles & INT last week. ... JAGUARS QB CODY KESSLER completed 25 of 43 (58.1 pct.) for 240 yards with 1 TD vs. 0 INTs for 81.5 rating in Week 14. Has 90+ rating in 6 of his past 8 starts. ... RB LEONARD FOURNETTE has 100+ scrimmage yards & TD in 3 of his past 4. ... WR DEDE WESTBROOK led team with 7 catches & 88 rec. yards, incl. TD catch, in Week 14. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3. ... LB MYLES JACK had team-high 13 tackles & sack last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. ... DE CALAIS CAMPBELL since 2017, is 1 of 6 in NFL with 25+ TFL (29) & 20+ sacks (21.5). ... LB TELVIN SMITH had 10 tackles last week. Aims for his 4th in row with 10+ tackles. Had sack in last meeting.
PREDICTION: Both teams are coming off horrific displays on run defense last week as the Jaguars allowed 238 yards to Tennessee's Derrick Henry on a nationally televised Thursday night game while the Redskins allowed 170 to Giants rookie Saquon Barkley. The quarterback situation is not much better for both teams and this game figures to be ugly though not necessarily high-scoring.
OUR PICK: Jaguars, 10-7